PF Chang’s style – Tofu Lettuce Wraps

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I love cheese and lettuce wraps and when we saw the chicken wraps in the PF Chang’s menu, we converted it to Tofu wrap and we loved it. It was yummy and crunchy. I thought of reproducing the same at home. It came out pretty good. Water chestnuts is the key ingredient which gives you the crunchiness. This wrap is sweet and salt with a hint of spiciness.

PF Chang's style - Tofu Lettuce Wraps

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • Extra firm tofu – 1 whole pack
  • Water chestnuts – 8 oz can
  • Crush peanuts – 3 tbsps
  • Lettuce leaves – 4-5 (according to number of servings)
  • Soy sauce – 2 tbsps
  • Palm sugar – 2 tsps
  • Mirin – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli sauce – 1 tsp
  • Rice vinegar – 1/2 tsp
  • Scallions – fine chopped 2 tbsps
  • Oil – 1 tbsp


  • Press the tofu and try to get as much as water out.
  • Chop them into small size cubes.
  • Chop the water chestnuts also into small cubes.
  • Heat the kadai and add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chopped scallions and sauté for a minute.
  • Now add the tofu and let it cook till all the moisture is absorbed.
  • Now add the water chestnuts and mix well.
  • One by one add all the sauces including sugar and mix well.
  • Let it cook till the mixture turns brown.

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That’s it now the filling is ready.

  • Wash the lettuce leaves and fill them with the tofu mixture and drizzle the peanuts.

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  • You can serve them as open lettuce cups or wrap them into a roll.
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Submitting this post for Blogging Marathon #48 – A 3 day marathon for 4 weeks
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging marathoner doing BM#48

Roti roll with potato curry

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I got this idea of roti rolls from Ani. Best way to sneak in vegetables and easy to pack for lunch also. I wanted to add a little twist to the regular curry so thought of making it like frankie. I wanted to say this is completely my version of aloo frankie. I have never been to Mumbai and never tasted a frankie there. Just including the ingredients according to our likes.

I used the left over potato-onion curry for this roll. You can find the recipe here. I used big jeera or fennel seeds while tempering.

Here is what you need for the roll: (Please adjust the measurements according to your taste)


  • Potato Onion Curry – 1 tbsp for each roti
  • Ketchup – 1 tsp for each roti
  • Sev – 2 tsps for each roti (You can also use crushed peanuts)
  • Rotis


  • Warm the roti and first spread the ketchup

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  • In one corner, place 1 tbsp of the aloo curry and sprinkle some sev, peanuts and cilantro.

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  • Roll it like a burrito as shown in the picture.

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Thats it yummy and mess free aloo frankie is ready. Perfect for lunch box too.


Submitting this post for Blogging Marathon #48 – A 3 day marathon for 4 weeks
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging marathoner doing BM#48

Tirunelveli Sodhi / Coconut Milk Stew with potatoes and drumstick

I did my undergrad in a place, which is pretty close to Tirunelveli and Tuticorin. This dish sodhi is very popular in Tirunelveli. (I wanted to write a separate post about this city Tirunelveli, will do it later) I have first tasted this recipe at my friend’s place. This is also called as Maapilai (Son-in-Law) sodhi. As this is a rich dish loaded with coconut milk, they usually make this dish when the Son-in-Law visits the in-laws it seems. And that’s how it got the name maapilai sodhi.

I got this recipe from our friend Srini who is a chef and a successful restaurateur. Thank you Srini, for this wonderful and simple recipe. Yes its a simple recipe when you use store-bought coconut milk like me ;-) ;-) The traditional recipe calls for fresh coconut milk both thick and thin milk. But me being me, went with store-bought and diluted half of it for thin milk.

Here is the recipe:

Tirunelveli Sodhi / Coconut Milk Stew with potatoes and drumstick

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • Cubed potatoes – 1 cup
  • Chopped drumsticks – 1/2 cup
  • Shallots / Small onions – 3 (finely chopped)
  • Garlic cloves -2 (finely chopped)
  • Finely chopped ginger – 2 tsps
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Cilantro – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Coconut Milk – 3/4 of a 14 oz can
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Salt – 1.5 tsp
  • Moong dhal – 2 to 3 tbsps. (Pressure cook and mash it well)

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  • Grind the green chillies and salt together. This retains the green color of the chilly.
  • Dilute 1/4 cup of the coconut milk with 1/2 of cup water and keep the remaining as is.
  • Pressure cook the moong dhal and mash it well.

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Grinded green chilly and moong dhal paste


  • Heat the kadai and add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté it for 2-3 minutes till they are translucent.
  • Now add the grinded chilly paste and let it cook for a minute.
  • Then add the chopped potatoes and drumsticks and the diluted coconut milk. If you are using the fresh coconut milk, use the second milk or as we say thin milk.
  • Cover and cook till the vegetables are soft.
  • Now add the mashed moong dhal and thick coconut milk and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes in low flame.
  • That’s it yummy potato stew or Tirunelveli Sodhi is ready.
  • Finally add the chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice.

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Eggless fried cheddar cheese cubes

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What happens when cheese is fried?? Ooyii goooyi and of course yummy. When kiddo gets bored of cheddar cheese sticks, I make these fried cheese cubes. Covered with bread crumbs, this is not only kids favorite, but ours too. Who would say no to these yummy fried cubes?

Eggless fried cheddar cheese cubes

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • Cheddar cheese sticks – 3 (cut into small cubes)
  • Corn starch  – 1 tbsp
  • All purpose flour – 1 tbsp
  • Panco bread crumbs – as required (I used Italian flavored)
  • Oil for frying
  • Water 3 tbsps


  • Heat the oil for frying.
  • Meanwhile mix the corn starch and All purpose flour in 3 tbsps of water. It should be thick like dosa batter.
  • Keep this ready in a cup and panko in another.

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  • Take the cheddar cube dip it in the flour mixture and in panko. I roll nicely in panko crumbs.
  • And fry them till they turn golden brown.

That’s it. Yummy cheese snack is ready.

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Submitting this post for Blogging Marathon #48 – A 3 day marathon for 4 weeks
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging marathoner doing BM#48

Cheese Quesadilla

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For this week’s blogging Marathon, the theme is “Say Cheese”.  The first one is simple and a popular dish. A perfect kids friendly dish. I know this is a Mexican dish but I still go with cheddar and mozzarella cheese because of kiddo’s taste preference.

I got to explore about cheese only after coming to US.  While in India, I didn’t even realize there are this many cheese varieties. All I knew was Britannia and Amul cheese :-) Paneer is also very rare in our household. I grew up eating typical Brahm food.

My first awwwww moment was in Subway asking what cheese I wanted in my sub.  I had no clue about cheddar, pepper jack or swiss cheese. M asked me to go with swiss and I promptly nodded my head. But foodie in me, made to read all about these cheese and their making process.

Here are the two cheese varieties that you find in my fridge. The other ones come and go on required basis.

Cheddar: Ok, coming to cheddar you have multiple varieties with in itself like mild, sharp, yellow, white etc. I usually get the mild yellow cheddar and its kiddo’s favorite. It’s from cow’s milk and one of the most consumed cheese in the world.  I used them for quesadilla, any cheese toast, just as snack even.

Mozzarella: This cheese is made from buffalo milk. I usually add them in salads. Mozzarella balls with basil, tomatoes drizzled with balsamic yummmmm.

Cheese Quesadilla

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • Taco sauce – 1 tsp for each tortilla
  • Tortilla – 2
  • Shredded cheddar and Mozzarella – as required


  • First warm the tortillas in the tava for 30 seconds.
  • Now spread 1 tsp of taco sauce (adjust according to your taste) on the tortilla.

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  • Spread both cheddar and mozzarella and fold the tortilla into a semi circle.

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  • Now place in the tava again and cover and cook for 40 seconds on each side.
    • Covering and cooking helps to keep the tortilla soft and cheese melts quickly.

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That’s it. Now cut them in triangle shapes and yummy Quesadilla is ready.

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  • Additional Taco sauce gives unique flavor (resembles taco bell quesadilla)
  • You can also add mayo and cheese.

Submitting this post for Blogging Marathon #48 – A 3 day marathon for 4 weeks
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging marathoner doing BM#48

Non Recipe : Pongal

I know pongal is not today. As I have other recipe post for tomorrow, I am posting it today. Anyways its Bhogi so here I am..

Pongal at our household was always with fun and fight.

  • It’s fun because of the rangolis and of course food. ;-) I love to do rangoli so usually for pongal it will be big one in the front yard with colors and same in the backyard too. As we worship Lord Sun for pongal, we do the puja in the backyard. (Close to Tulsi plant.) We decorate the place with rangolis and keep the sugarcane, turmeric all that stuff.
  • Fight because of the pongal timing. They keep pongal paanai only during that particular muhurtham/nalla neram.  If it comes before 10am well and good else we have wait till that time for lunch ;-) we can have breakfast and all but all those savories and stuff can be eaten only after neivedhyam.  My appa wants me to be in the backyard during the entire puja, which means I can’t watch any special pongal programs in TV so fight again. (Silly me, but that’s how I was.)

But the moment we moved to Madras, I started missing those backyard pongal and in US literally nothing. No timings and all, just do the pongal before going to office, a quick neivedhyam and you are done with pongal festival. Thats what going to happen tomorrow. No sugarcane, no fresh coconut nothing. We always wish for what we don’t have right?

At least this year, in kiddo’s Tamil school they are celebrating pongal and they had competitions like drawing, singing, Tamil Elocution and couple more. I am glad they did so that I could explain him about the festival and its importance and all that stuff. I asked kiddo if he wanted to participate in any of these. I didn’t surprise me when he said yes to drawing but when he said yes to singing I was bit surprised. I know he learns music and all that. But doing it for a competition that too this particular Tamil song, I didn’t expect that. I am so happy because, I sang Bharathiyar song for my first competition and kiddo now sang Bharathiyar song too for his competition, but different songs though. Thanks to our music teacher who taught him song and perfected his tune and I hope he rendered the song without killing Tamil (He needs to improve his zh ). She made him sing at a different stage the same day. Also she taught the same song for me to play in veenai too. Glad that my first Tamil song in veenai was Mahakavi’s. (Errr I am a big fan of him.)

Here is his rendering and here is the picture that we taught him to draw for the competition. Only God knows what he did. We can see the pictures only on Jan 18th.

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Wishing you all a very Happy Pongal.

Before letting you go, you can find my pongal recipes here. Both are easy versions. I do it in pressure cooker. :-)


Non Recipe : Food Tag

This tag is especially for you BM. When she was talking about tags, I thought of make one but of course food related one for the blogathon. I hope it’s not so difficult.

Rules are pretty simple:

  • Answer these 13 questions.
  • Happily pass it on to others

13 questions:

  1. What is the first dish that you cooked?
  2. What is the first dish that you cooked for your better half? (If you are not married, you can tell us what you are planning to cook for him/her)?
  3. Which food were you reserved to try first but then liked later it since you acquired the taste?
  4. What is your comfort food?
  5. Which dish of yours you like the best?
  6. Which dish of yours your family likes the best?
  7. What is your favorite street food?
  8. Tell us about any of your kitchen disaster story.
  9. Any one or two food confessions ;-) ;-)
  10. Apart from basic stuff, like milk, yogurt, veggies what you have in your fridge or in pantry? (Name any 3 items)
  11. Any food related or cooking resolutions for this year?
  12. In our custom when you goto Kasi, you need to give up one of your favorite veggie and fruit. So you cannot eat that veggie or fruit from then on. Which one you would you give up? (It should be your favorite one)
  13. You need to prepare a 3 course meal for a party? What dishes will be there in your menu?

Here are my answers:

  1. Rava upma. (Came so so..)
  2. Rasam and Kovaikai (Tindora) curry. (I didn’t want to take a chance, so stayed in my comfort zone)
  3. Green Tea
  4. Vathal Kuzhambu
  5. Rasam
  6. Eriseri n Rasam
  7. Kulfi.
  8. I have a lot. The big one is while making rasagulla, I added to much of lemon juice and the rasagulla tasted like lemon gola.
  9. I love cerelac. While mixing it for kid I used to have it too. :-) :-) Same with plain complan. ;-)
  10. Cheese, Idly batter and pasta
  11. Need to bake more and try some traditional Indian sweets.
  12. Brinjal and Pineapple :-( :-( :-(
  13. Bhelpuri, Kulcha, some paneer dish, Biriyani and Kurma and Fruit custard. (We need some fruit na.. being healthy ;-) ;-) )

Please feel free to pick up this tag and pass it on to others. If I have missed someone here, I am really sorry.

BM, Freaky Veggie, Ani, Maya, Tharani, VayadiPennuGB, SS


Onion Kulcha

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For the third day for the bread stubs, I am preparing kulcha.  Instead of plain kulcha, I thought of preparing onion kulcha. I love kulchas as they are easy to make at home. Its pretty much like bhatoora dough but with less curd and addition of milk. I usually let it sit for 4 hrs and I have used active yeast when I don’t have baking soda and baking powder. It comes out well. I have tried with and without yeast.

Onion Kulcha

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


  • All purpose flour/Maida – 2 cups + 1/2 cup for dusting
  • Curd/yogurt -2 tbsp
  • Milk – 2 tbsp
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsps
  • Baking soda –  1/4 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Oil as required for making kulcha

For Sprinkling:

  • Onion – finely chopped 1/4 cup
  • Cilantro – finely chopped 1/4 cup
  • Roasted sesame seeds – 1/4 cup


  • Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and 2 tsp of oil nicely.

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  • Add the 2 tbsps of milk and yogurt and mix well. It will like corn meal.

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  • Now slowly add water and mix the flour to form the dough. Make sure the dough is not soggy.
  • Let it sit for 4 hrs.

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  • Make balls from the dough and roll into round shape. Now sprinkle a little of onions, cilantro and sesame seeds and roll it one more time so that they all stick together.

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  • Now heat the tawa and cook the kulcha as usual like roti. The only thing is spread the oil nicely on the top of the kulcha while flipping them. You can use butter also.
  • Thats it, yummy kulcha is ready.

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Serve hot with your favorite gravy.


Submitting this post for Blogging Marathon #48 – A 3 day marathon for 4 weeks
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging marathoner doing BM#48

Makki di Roti using white corn meal

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The second bread stub that I am doing is Makki Di Roti in South Indian Style and using white corn meal. I usually get white corn meal for dusting for pizza stone. Apart from corn bread and pudding, I use it for making this roti. I make it similar to ragi roti. Usually we have this with Sarson ki Saag, but as I am making this in south Indian Style, the side dish is also South Indian style spinach curry :-)

Makki di Roti using white corn meal

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


  • Corn meal (white or yellow) – 1.5 cups
  • Wheat flout – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 2 tsps
  • Small onion / Shallots – 5 (finely chopped)
  • Green chillies – 2 (finely chopped)
  • Cilantro – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Oil for making roti
  • Water – 1/2 cup (as required).


  • Mix the corn meal, salt and wheat flour nicely.
  • Now add the chopped onions, green chillies and cilantro and mix well.

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  • Now slowly add water and mix them well to form a dough.  (Good thing about this roti is it doesn’t need to sit for a long time)

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  • As I don’t get banana leaf, I go with zip loc for rolling process. Apply some oil in the zip loc cover.

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  • Make small balls from the dough and press it in the zip loc and spread it out into thin roti as much as you can.
  • Heat the tawa and cook the roti in a usual way by applying oil. Usually this roti takes 1.5 to 2 minutes to get cooked.

Thats it, yummy and crispy roti is ready.

Serve hot with butter and saag. As this roti has onion and chillies, you can eat it with pickle or ketchup too.   2015-01-03 19.12.44

Submitting this post for Blogging Marathon #48 – A 3 day marathon for 4 weeks
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging marathoner doing BM#48